Tennessee’s largest small-business advocacy group has endorsed a local Republican candidate in one of the closest and most hotly contested races for the state Senate. The Tennessee chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), which has 10,000 member businesses in the state, has endorsed small business owner Jim Tracy in Senate District 16 representing Rutherford, Bedford and Moore counties.
As chairman of NFIB/Tennessee’s Leadership Council, Tracy was instrumental in rallying support for passage of workers’ compensation reform in the state passed earlier this year by the Tennessee General Assembly. Tracy’s opponent, incumbent state Sen. Larry Trail (D-Murfreesboro), fought workers comp reform, though he eventually voted for the final version of the bill.
Tennessee NFIB director Rob Ikard said Tracy would “stand up for small businesses on principle…He knows firsthand how over-regulation and certain legislation can impede small businesses from hiring more workers and investing more in our communities." Ikard added that Tracy “firmly opposes a state income tax.”
Tracy, who owns Tracy Insurance with offices in Shelbyville, Fayetteville and Lewisburg, is a former schoolteacher, and current vice chairman of the Bedford County School Board.
Trail, a trial attorney by trade, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Going in to the Nov. 2 election, Democrats hold a narrow 18 to 15 seat advantage in the state Senate. There are 16 seats up for grabs this year, 11 of them held by Democrats. If Republicans can gain two seats they will take control of the State Senate.
The Trail-Tracy race is garnering a lot of attention from the state GOP. As of July 26, Trail had a balance in his campaign account of $174,870. Tracy was keeping pace better than most challengers to an incumbent in the state with a balance of $107,551. That included $5,000 from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s Volunteer PAC.
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